“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?”
In a prior post titled ‘Redefining Our Terms’ I asked you to consider that in a sharply polarized environment where we are ideologically opposed on many topics, in practice we are not terribly opposed on matters of the greater-governance. This is not to say that each individual policy is watered down as to appease all sides of a debate; but rather, that we made some compromises where each party to the negotiation got something in return. I will give you protection for American labor if you give me protection for the American business owner. I will respect your autonomy on what substances you partake in or decline if you will respect my autonomy on what face coverings I wear. I will stand with you in opposition to foreign wars if you will stand with me on bolstering our defenses domestically.
Throughout the Administration of Donald Trump, we saw many policies opposed in practice merely because they were associated with Donald Trump. In this way, our politics were polarized based on the person and not on the policies themselves. Famed CNN commentator and Obama advisor, Van Jones, was chided for his vocal support for Donald Trump’s Criminal Justice Reforms. Arizona US Senator Krysten Sinema (D) received little support from her own party for crossing the aisle to work on a paid parental leave plan that would have allowed parents to borrow from their child tax credit to support themselves during times of family leave. In this way, families could float their bills during financial hardship, and the US Taxpayer incurs no additional cost. And these examples are bi-partisan issues where the division is just not necessary. When a politician makes an effort in good-will to offer solutions where compromise can be made, it is the American citizen that suffers because of partisan political opposition.
Compromising on solutions does not require that we agree on the problems either. An agreement that Climate Change is the pre-eminent issue of our time is not necessary to agree that we all want to leave a better world for our children. Leaving a better world for our children isn’t always as easy as waving a magic wand and completely redrawing the American energy grid to rely on energy produced on someone else’s terms. Texas this past week is a good example of the potential pitfalls of energy on mother nature’s terms. Wind and solar can be excellent supplements to a green energy portfolio, but over-reliance on such systems is a recipe for disaster. Further, giving an adversarial nation like China equity in our energy grid is a serious national security concern that we shouldn’t entertain. Some compromise can be found in energy production areas like Nuclear, which Idaho excels in.
In short, consider this an olive branch from Conservatives of the Trumpian persuasion. They’re neither neo-nazis, white supremacists, fascists, or totalitarians. And if I’m being honest, they don’t very much appreciate being labeled as such. They’re your neighbors, your teachers, and your fellow church pew mates. They’re not inciting insurrections or ushering in the Third Reich, they’re simply wanting to leave a system that is both transparent and fair to their children. In the current environment, we’d all do well to take a step back and try finding middle ground where we can find it.